25 Feb Choosing the right builder for your loft conversion
Let’s be honest – having a loft conversion is a major financial outlay for most people and so it’s vital that you find a reputable builder.
Patience is a virtue
The Federation of Master Builders have warned that you should expect to wait months before your builder can start work on your loft conversion. If a builder tells you they can start right away – alarm bells should start ringing. Currently, once you have signed all the paperwork to agree to a loft conversion with Econoloft, you can expect to wait 12 weeks before we lay a brick, dependant on all the necessary approvals are in place. That means, if you would like a loft conversion in time for next Christmas, you should be talking to us in May if not earlier.
Econoloft has been in business for over 40 years and during that time we have built hundreds of loft conversions, thankfully we have never had to defend an insurance claim but that doesn’t mean we would ever be without it. In fact, why not ask your builder if you can see a copy of their up to date insurance – it’s always useful to check they have what they say they have and check it with the insurer too.
Econoloft also offer a 12-months guarantee on installed equipment such as plumbing, at least 10 years on the general build and at last 25 years on your fibreglass roof. And we only build loft conversions – we know our stuff!
It’s not uncommon for small builders to go into liquidation or for their directors to claim bankruptcy – but then we see them start up again under different names. Before you start work with any builder check their solvency status via Companies House – you can check companies and directors.
Econoloft has a long pedigree which may be due to the fact we are and always have been family run and the business is now being managed by second and even third generation family members. It’s in our interests to ensure that our customers are happy – quite simply, our customers are our bread and butter!
We are always keen to ask customers to work with us in a variety of ways and that includes everything from writing testimonials (Econoloft testimonials are all genuine), to speaking to potential customers on the phone and even allowing people to come and see their lovely new lofts. You can also check to see if your builder is a member of any professional trade associations. Econoloft is a member of TrustMark, the Federation of Master Builders, FairTrades, Guild of Master Craftsmen and the League of Professional Craftsmen and most of these groups will independently vet and inspect members before they are allowed to join. We are also online with checkatrade.com, truspilot.co.uk and trustatrader.com who do all their own vetting processes and will only allow companies that want to keep a good reputation.
Finally, please, please, don’t ever hand over any money without a written contract and never pay for the whole build up front. Also avoid any pushy builder or sales rep – a reputable company like Econoloft will never use aggressive sales techniques and we always leave customers to make up their mind about working with us in their own good time. We also ask for staged payments throughout the project. If a builder asks for most, or all of the money before they start work – run a mile!
Before embarking on any build project, but especially something as significant as a loft conversion, do your homework in order to avoid any problems.